By Bob McGartland


We all know that the tune-up of yesteryear is no more. Still…people often ask for a tune-up because it is a term they are familiar with and they know their vehicle is in need of a boost. Today we often refer to this as a “major service” that needs to be done as routine maintenance every 2 years or 30,000 miles to keep a car running at peak efficiency. When consumers call around for pricing on this service they are often amazed at the dramatic price differences being quoted. This is mainly due to the fact that different shops view the “tune-up” in a variety of ways.

A major service (maintenance tune-up) should include a fuel filter, spark plugs, air filter, PCV filter, certain fluid changes and the labor charges. What items are needed to be replaced or service at the major service intervals are also base on the vehicle’s age and mileage, customers driving habits and how different climate changes affect these parts.

Let your customers know that:

  • Just replacing the spark plugs is not a true tune up. They are a good indicator of an engine’s condition, however. Changing the plugs prevents them from seizing in the block. This seizing would cause expensive repairs to occur.
  • The spark plug wire sets need to be tested for proper resistance.
  • Filters, of course, must be changed on a regular basis and may be the single most important key to any vehicle’s longevity.
  • Oil filters prevent unnecessary engine wear as they remove soot, rust and other contaminates from the oil.
  • Air filters remove dirt and protect internal engine parts.
  • The PCV system consists of the breather tube and the PCV valve. The tube connects the crankcase to fresh air, such as the air cleaner body. Clean air flows in to this tube and in to the engine after it has passed through a screen, baffle, or other simple system to prevent an explosive atmosphere within the engine crank case from being ignited. The baffle, filter, or screen also traps oil mist, and keeps it inside the engine.
  • The fuel filter traps contaminants that can clog the injector inlet screens. If not replaced regularly stalling, hard starting and loss of high speed power results.
  • The automatic transmission filter cools and lubricates the moving parts plus transmits energy. If clogged the results are slippage and hesitation.

Consumers should be pleased to note that today’s “preventive maintenance tune-up” greatly reduces the need for expensive problems that can occur sooner rather than later. The tune-up has evolved to keep pace with today’s vehicles.

Happy Motoring!

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